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LAWG and WOLA Urge Mexican Government to Protect Human Rights of Migrants and Defenders

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On May 1, 2015, a cargo train arrived in Tenosique in southern Mexico at 6pm.  It stopped long enough for hundreds of migrants, including families, women, and children, to climb aboard, while a vehicle operated by a unit of Mexico’s immigration agency and local police in the vicinity did nothing.  Hours later, Mexican authorities, including Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) and federal police, began a violent enforcement operation against those migrants aboard the train, throwing them from the moving train, and pursuing many who ran.  Furthermore, authorities intimidated and impeded the documentation work of human rights defenders from “The 72” migrant shelter.

LAWG and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) wrote a letter to Mexican Secretary of the Interior Osorio Chong expressing our extreme concern over this use of force against migrants and migrant rights defenders and the growing trend of violence and abuse that it exemplifies.  Migration enforcement operations, which have increased with the inauguration of Mexico’s Southern Border Program (Plan Frontera Sur), are placing already vulnerable migrants at greater risk in transit through Mexico.  LAWG and WOLA urge the Mexican government to fulfill its obligations to protect and defend the human rights of migrants in Mexico, as well as those of the human rights defenders working to protect them.

Click here to see the complete letter (in Spanish).